"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Friday, January 25, 2013

Guest Post with Phoenix Johnson

Thank you for having me here today, Kiki. So thrilled to be dropping in!

Today, I’d love to talk about my publishing debut with the paranormal erotic trilogy Wolf Smitten. Mostly, the first novella, The Wolf in the Neighborhood. This steamy, suspense-woven gem first came to me when I was drifting off to sleep one night. Instead of losing yet another idea, I grabbed my phone and jotted down a note. The next morning it took off, and the story pretty much wrote itself. I had lots of fun exploring the story and was so thrilled when it got accepted by Naughty Nights Press.  They’re a great team of people, working hard to polish each story before they go out. I’m sure you also appreciate all their hard work. You’ve done quite well with your fantastic At War in the Willow series. Congrats, by the way, about it going to print!
So what is The Wolf in the Neighborhood about?

What do you do when your past comes back to haunt you? 

Could a dark secret revealed by a new lover be something you could overlook just to have him?

What kind of secrets could you learn to live with for true love? 

Krissy has a hunky new neighbour with a dark secret; Derek is a vet with an interesting past. They hit it off quickly but when Krissy’s abusive ex, James comes to town, Derek shows a side Krissy never could have guessed. James, however, refuses to give up.

Can Derek’s secret save them, or will James have his revenge?

Here’s a teasing little snippet…

As Derek heaved a sigh, his burden lightened;  Krissy was left wondering, why stay in the States? She chewed her lip for a few minutes until she couldn’t hold it in anymore. “But why stay in America? You have the chance to move back to England and go back to Aubree.”

“That was my first thought, so I called her up to see how she was doing. Turns out our seven years together didn’t leave as big of a hole in her heart as it did in mine. She’s already moved on – with the new vet apprentice no less. What can I say? Aubree is a beautiful, intelligent, young woman. She shouldn’t be expected to wait around for goodness knows how long until I came back, so she didn’t wait. That’s ok though, I guess. I was getting a little sick of all the tea and biscuits.”

Krissy laughed, trying not to spit coffee everywhere and failing. Derek snorted, and they both started laughing as they grabbed napkins and cleaned the liquid off the table and wiped their faces.

The Wolf in the Neighborhood is available for purchase at Naughty Nights Press, Amazon and Amazon UK, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks, and coming soon to Barnes and Noble and Apple.

Reviews are welcome!

You can find me at my blog, on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and at my site. You can also view the video trailer for The Wolf on Youtube.

Phoenix Johnson is an Australian author who has always had the passion for the written word. She had her nose in at least one book ever since she could read and would even scrutinize the back of the cereal box every morning at breakfast. It was only natural she take up writing.

Phoenix has multiple works in progress, and her favourite writing genres are the same as her reading genres; erotica, romance, paranormal, thriller and a combination of these.

Having started out reviewing, Phoenix was nominated for the 2011 Xcite Best Reviewer Award. She has also participated in her first NaNoWriMo in 2012 and successfully completed the challenge with a day to spare, despite also juggling a home life and full time study.

She currently lives on the sunny Gold Coast, Queensland, with her partner, their daughter and cat Flash.
Thank you for having me here today. Best of luck with the journey in to print!

Youtube Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUczfWcf3NA

I'm also excited to be doing my first giveaway. I know they're normally done sooner, but I prefer to space everything out so that people haven't been flooded with my debut.

So what do you have to do for your chance to win? Derek has a secret that Krissy has to learn to live with if they're to stay together. Do you have something that your partner/potential partner has to learn to love to be with you? A random answer will be picked to win a copy of The Wolf in the Neighborhood, currently sitting on Naughty Nights Press's Bestselling list!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Guest Post: Going with Ghosts by Sommer Marsden

I’ve written ghosts before. They were prevalent in my Seekers series, I wrote Corporeal for Ellora’s Cave and there have been some others along the way. In Under My Skin, I got all crazy with the Cheez Whiz and had a good ghost and a bad ghost. Dueling ghosts.

Lanie is the deceased fiancé of our hero—our dying hero—Elijah Rivers. She’s trying to reach out to him because his health is failing. She’s doing this all through our psychic medium Juliet who just happened to buy the house Lanie died in. The house that Chadwick Montgomery used as his killing grounds—Lanie being one of his kills. And Juliet’s beginning to pick up on some very unsettling things about her new house. Like how many victims died her at the hands of our bad ghost.

This is Juliet’s chance to right two wrongs even as she’s working through her own loss. Reuniting Lanie and Elijah before he crosses over, allowing them to use her body as a conduit of connection, and working hard to eradicate the world of the evil that is Chadwick Montgomery.

Sometimes just to mix things up, you need to go with a ghost…or two.


Blurb from UNDER MY SKIN by Sommer Marsden

House bought for a steal online when it turns out there’s a damn good reason—check.

Malicious ghost with a body count to his name—check.

Sad, lingering female spirit pining for her still living (but currently dying) fiancé—check.

What’s a widowed medium to do when a departed soul asks to ride piggy back in her body?

To share her space and get under her skin? Juliet Bale does the only thing she can do—with her twin sister’s good counsel—she lets Lanie share her body to help her dying beloved Elijah cross over. The problem is that with all the reuniting, and sharing one body, things get seriously intimate and Juliet can’t help but see exactly why Elijah Rivers was so beloved.

It’s so wrong to sorta kinda fall for a dying man, and yet—check.

Excerpt from UNDER MY SKIN by Sommer Marsden

Elijah kept looking and looking. I watched him as he walked toward the dining room. His eyes darted all over but his gaze repeatedly landed on the door to the basement.

“Are you okay?” I heard him ask me, but a thick, heavy blanket of grief covered me, and I was suddenly felled by it. My knees buckled unexpectedly so that I had to grab a stack of moving boxes to catch myself.

He turned fast, dropping his tool box and grabbing my elbows to steady me. “God, are you okay?” We were close, so close I could feel his warm breath on my lips and see the bits of stubble starting to poke through his skin.

“I…are you? You keep looking…” Another wave of grief hit me, and I grabbed his biceps with my fingers. Yes, he was physically strong, but under it there was a chink in his armor. A big one.

“I’m sorry,” he sighed, leading me to a dining room chair. “My fiancée was a realtor. She showed this house a few years back. She um…”

Died here… That was why I wanted to kiss him. She’d died here, and she was still here–either by choice or…not.

“Died here. Fell down the basement steps.” He found a bottle of water on the sideboard and said, “Yours?”

I nodded, and he handed it to me. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know or I’d have asked—”

He waved me off. “Sheila and I are friends. She hires me often. I bet she didn’t even think. It was so long ago for most folks. For me, not so much.”

I nodded, understanding the grief now. The water tasted old but still good as I got my senses together and studied him. I still wanted to kiss him. I wondered how strong his fiancée’s spirit was.

“What was her name?”

I heard it in my head in a male voice, a female voice, then straight from Elijah’s mouth. “Lanie.”

Buy Links

Resplendence Publishing:

Coming to other vendors soon!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Valentine's Day Pinterest Contest

To celebrate the re-release of my short story Sacred Sex as a Naughty Hot Shot by Naughty Nights Press, I am holding my first ever Pinterest Contest.

Over the next few weeks, I will be pinning away to my Valentine's Day Board. Despite the preview, there is more than food on there LOL

All you have to do is repin one of my pins to be entered into the contest. On Valentine's Day 2013 I will go in and pick a winner from those who have repinned and then track you down somehow, I promise!. What will you win for your troubles you might ask? Well, let's say it will be something inspired by one of the pins! Wait, you don't have a Pinterest account yet!?! Well first, let me just say the place is fun and highly addicting, so I strongly suggest it, but if you are still not convinced, just give me a Valentine's Day suggestion (for example a holiday themed recipe or craft to make) in the comments below.

Easy, right? I sure hope so ;)

Naughty Hot Shots - Sacred Sex, A Valentine's Day Novella

Just a few days before Valentine’s Day, Margaret visits her aunt’s craft consignment shop hoping for a spell or oil, and any advice on how to re-connect with her husband, Michael, who has become distant since losing his job. Determined to save her marriage, she gets more than she bargained for from Aunt Minny, a practicing witch. Armed with recipes to enhance love, a massage oil love potion, a new Valentine’s Day candle and a book on Sacred Sex Rituals, Margaret prepares to seduce her husband.
But, his initial reaction is not what she planned for…

Follow Margaret and Michael on a holiday of love journey, a throwback to the kinky pagan sex rituals once practiced long ago on this day before it was named after a saint. You may want to take notes to enhance your own Valentine's Day this year!

Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Wiccan/Pagan, Holiday - Valentine’s Day

Please Note: This story is being re-released by a new publisher after being re-edited and given a sexy new Jimmy Thomas cover :)

Available Now at NNP Store and Amazon

Love, Creativity & Magick: A Steampunk Valentine’s Day Tale - A Novelette

All acts of magick take on shades of gray in the end.  Especially for Emma, one of four females witches who by birthright belong in the social circles of the privileged upper ten thousand in London. Yet, by rumor of the unknown and the misunderstood, she stands apart, cut by her peers along with her cousins, because they hold a secret—each is gifted with magick.

Their elders had taught them respect for their powers even when mixed with a spanking amount of fanciful mischief.  On the other hand, if a lesson was warranted, then white verses black magick could be hard to define. No where was the color of steam more evident than in the matters of justice, a slippery term to define. Yet, they’d made breaking the laws of society their mission. Most of their nights at parties and balls were spent creating a magickal comedy of errors, helping the uptight aristocracy side step their fastidious standards.

Only this year, days before Valentine’s Day, a damnable day for women without suitors, Emma is not quite sure what is happening to her. Something dark and seductive, something not of this world, is luring her, possessing her, and she has no comprehension of what or who the presence really is. But, when he does show his face finally, and she feels him to be a night walker, she must fear not only the threat he poses to her blood and to the energy or magick he can suck from her, but also the danger he poses to her heart. After all of these days feeling him, wanting him, she has to wonder if her feelings are just a matter of his compulsion, if she is under this vampires own type of magick.

To complicate matters further, the vampire’s propositions are as exciting as they are scandalous, to teach her how to power her magick with the overabundance of sexual energy she bears. But, how he knows such thinks he remains elusive about. And there is the added attraction that this vampire was a failed inventor in life, one with a basement full of contraptions she finds she can power through the use of her sexual energy. Valentine’s Day seems like it could be all kinds of fun this year now.

Yet, in these days of social unrest and out-of-control creativity, what is a witch to do with a vampire? When Valentine’s Day rolls around, and a secret is revealed, what will be left for her? 

Genres: Valentine's Day 2012 Theme, Paranormal (witches and vampires), Steampunk (Victorian England), Erotic Romance  

Available Now at NNPAmazon,  All Romance Ebooks and Smashwords

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Tour

Following in the footsteps of Liz Adams and Tessa Wanton, I am participating in The Next Big Thing Blog Tour. Below are my answers to the ten questions of the tour. Authors, if you would like to participate, answer the ten questions about your book on your blog and then we can exchange links to add to our posts :)

1. What is the working title of your book?
Well, since this book is the third and final book in my first ever series, that is a bit complicated LOL How about if I just break down the series...
Series: At War in the Willows
Book1 - The Vampire's Witch
Book 2 - The Vampire's Wolf
Book 3 - The Vampire's Human

2. Where did the idea for your At War in the Willows series come from?
The inspiration for my At War in the Willows series was really a duel creation. Gina Kincade, owner of Naughty Nights Press, approached me about writing it. She had this idea for a paranormal erotic series where clans fought against each other. She had a few specific things she wanted to see even like arrangement of POV, etc. But, I got to pick the types of paranormals, how and what lead to their fighting, the plotline, etc. I honestly never thought I would write a series, but I was so excited by the proposal I accepted the challenge.

3.What genre does it fall under?
As always, my books genres read more like a keywords list. I guess I like to mix things up *winks*
Paranormal, Erotic, Romantic Suspense - The Paranormals being vampires, witches and werewolves.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmmm, tough question.... how about....
The Vampire's Witch: Jared Padalecki as my vampire Issac and Julia Roberts as my witch Winter
The Vampire's Wolf: Kate Beckinsale as my vampire Amberlyn and Joe Manganiello as my werewolf Kane
The Vampire's Human: Josh Holloway as my vampire Devin and Emma Stone as my human Sara
Think I am liking the pairings....

5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of your At War in the Willows series?
The Willows is a resort town run by vampires, werewolves and witches, where true identities are kept secret from humans, and intimate relations between the individual clans are strictly forbidden until situations beyond their control lead to forbidden relationships leading three vampires, a witch, a werewolf and a human to ride along the edges of the rules making the Willows a place full of violence and bloodshed.
Sorry, really long sentence! *giggles*

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Neither actually. Since 2007 I've worked with eleven different publishers and have had over 30 stories published. I've learned a lot in that time, and have gotten to the point that I have found my personality match with a handful of publishers that take really good care of my and my creations. At War in the Willows is published with Naughty Nights Press. 

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft?
Actually, if you don't count all the pauses life put in there not long at all. Each story just poured out of me. As I said before, the actual idea of having warring clans came from my publisher when she proposed writing a paranormal series to me, and I guess it was just meant to be, because the rest came to me very fast. I would say that each story took maybe 3-4 days to write the bare bones of. A lot more time though went into editing, and making sure the series went together well.

8. What other books would you compare the At War in the Willows series to?
None come to mind actually. I mean True Blood does include many paranormals in sexy and violent situations, as does Vampire Diaries on a more prime time level, but both are lengthy novel series. Mine is a three novella series, and I like to write fast and tight plotlines, so this worked for me. I can't say that I have read anything like this plot - props to Ms. Gina again for the idea, inspiration and personal support and motivation as I wrote it.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this story?
Well, since I've answered that question twice now, let me go a little more in-depth into the type of story I wanted to write. In the real world, intolerance is something that really bothers me, gets under my skin and gets me standing on my soap box as my mother says, no matter who it is aimed at. I am more of a quiet person though, not one to just offer my opinions. Yet, as I writer, I get to mouth off about about the injustices of the world in my fictional writing from time to time. But, in my new At War in the Willows Series, I got to wrap a whole world around my rants LOL! In the small resort town of The Willows, vampires, witches and werewolves live together peacefully in public, but are forbidden to relate in private. The humans remain gloriously unaware, well for the most part ;) In each book in the series I pair together two paranormal creatures, have them fall in love, and thus a war breaks out and escalates through the stories in the town. Some want things to stay as they are, fears from unknowns bring about prejudices that must be fought by those who wish to be together. Sound familiar?
As far as writing goes, it is always interesting to create a new paranormal world, decide how close to stay to typical mythology and how far to stray. In the Willows, in order for this fight for the freedom to be together to happen, I made a list of the strengths and weakness that are typical for each of my creatures, vampire and witch and werewolf, to see how they could relate, how they could fight, how they could stand on either side of the issues of being together, etc. I found it really interesting, and actually had to change very few things in my world, stray from the usual myths, in order to make it work. But I am usually that type of writer, I like the original Byron vampires, and the mythical witches with magic passed by bloodline. This worked well for me with the politics of the whole story, and fell in line, very closely related to prejudices and politics today in our own world where man fights man.
I guess my biggest thing though was to show that there were inherent dangers with the creatures being together (you know, the paranormal worlds always amp up any problem) but that with love, with understanding, with compassion, that the initial problems could be overcome - that it was really opening peoples minds that mattered. I believe that in the real world as well. I'm a champion of the underdog, and in this trilogy, that will probably be pretty evident. What I ended up with were three very intense stories, ones that linger in dark, mystical worlds, just the way I like my fiction, and have an underlying moral fiber along with battles and romance.

What else about the story might pique the reader's interest?
I think the book trailer video may help. I just love making them, and was very pleased with the final result of this one. 

For blurb, buy links and reviews for the At War in the Willows series, please visit my website at http://www.kikihowell.com/2012/01/at-war-in-willows-series.html

In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.